Riyadh, Nov 27 (IANS): Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games gold medallist Asila Mirzayorova from Uzbekistan and the winner of China’s historic first cross-country skiing gold medal, Peng Zheng were announced as best female and best male athlete at the fourth edition of Asian Awards at an awards ceremony during the Asian Paralympic Committee’s Conference and General Assembly.
India’s Sheetal Devi, the ‘armless archer’ who went viral after her performances in Hangzhou picked up the best youth athlete.
Award winners were announced in six categories – Best Male Athlete, Best Female Athlete, Best Youth Athlete, Best Team Performance, Best Photography and Exemplary Asian Official.
“I am very happy to get this award. This is a big honour to be named the best in Asia. I hope I can continue winning more medals for my nation. I am training hard to get a medal for India at the Paralympics,” said Sheetal Devi.
The best team performance went to I.R. Iran’s Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team following their bronze medal at the Wheelchair Basketball World Championships in July, making them the first Asian NPC to reach the podium in 14 editions of the championships.
The best photography award went to Masamine Kawaguchi from Japan for his images from Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games which captured the dynamism, skill, and speed of the downhill skiers.
The final award for exemplary Asian official went to Mr. Young-ju Lee from the Republic of Korea who is the coach of the Korean Para Cycling Team. Under his leadership they won 8 medals including four golds at the Hangzhou Asian Para Games.
The Asian Order was presented to six recipients for their contribution to the Paralympic Movement in Asia. Shaikh Mohamed Duaij Al Khalifa President of NPC Bahrain, Manabu Aso from Japan, Mukhtorkhon Tashkhodjaev, President of NPC Uzbekistan and the Executive Secretary General of HAPGOC, Chen Weiqiang.
To additional Asian Orders were presented to Jung Jin Owan from the Republic of Korea and Yasushi Yamawaki from Japan, both of whom had been awarded the Paralympic Order by the IPC.
“These athletes and officials have been exemplary in their respective fields. Their performances and works have inspired, motivated many, and contributed hugely to the growth of the Paralympic Movement in the region. Many congratulations to all of them,” said APC President Rashed.
Rashed also acknowledged the efforts of the NPCs who have supported their athletes and paved their way to success.